Numbers Game

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This entry was originally posted May 25, 2009 as part of the website “Slouching Towards Anaheim.”

“I could prove God statistically.” -George Gallup


This blog entry is dedicated to Louie Crew, the man responsible for gathering all of these wonderful statistics. He collects them every convention, and makes comparison charts to illustrate changes in the church.

House of Deputies 2009:

43.3% female lay people

35.3% female clergy

17 dioceses have no females elected

At the start of convention:

average age will be 56.9

youngest deputy will be 19.7

oldest deputy will be 90.2

26 deputies will be under 30

12.7% of deputies are people of color

50.3% of those are African American

I post these here because the makeup of the voting body says a lot about the kind of decisions it can make. Having only 26 deputies under 30 means there’s a clear need for resolutions that proactively seek out youth in the church, but passing such resolutions cannot happen with only those 26 votes.

The number of women in the House of Deputies has been steadily increasing since women first entered in 1970, and it will no doubt reach 50% within the next few conventions. However youth and people of color are still underrepresented by the church, and do not show as rapid and steady a climb as gender. This is not just a matter of fair representation. The fact is that the House of Deputies is an accurate reflection of the church: it is becoming old and white.

My heart obviously lies with youth involvement. I believe that we cannot simply wait for them to show interest in us. I would not be an active member of the church today if people had not sought me out time and time again. They will not ask us if they can join in. We must ask them.


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